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Field Trial Report

West Coast Open Shooting Dog Championship

By Tom Griffin | May 17, 2018
Championship Winners. Front, from left: Ron Shuman with Lostak’s Flynn Rider and Tom Griffin with Touch’s California Dream. Standing: Mike Wilkin, judge; Linda Camarillo and Roy Smith, judge.

Hornitos, Cal. — For several decades the West Coast Open Shooting Dog Championship has been hosted by the San Joaquin Valley English Setter Club. This year’s trial kicked off on April 5 with a drawing on the grounds.

The West Coast Championship was conducted on Paul and Julia Ichord’s Hornitos Ranch. The field trial committee and participants are fortunate recipients of this family’s generosity in opening their ranch for this event and the following California Bird Dog Championship.

The grounds were in great shape, having largely recovered from last year’s major fire. The pastures had adequate cover, were a beautiful green, and spotted with wildflowers.

Lostak’s Flynn Rider was named champion and Touch’s California Dream, runner-up. Their accomplishments were well deserved and not in any manner diminished by the lighter than hoped for 16-dog field.

A major storm was forecast to arrive over the weekend and may have kept some of our usual supporters away. The club appreciated professional Sheldon Twer’s solid support for this event, notwithstanding that he had only recently returned from his sojourn to the South and the National Championship.

There was a light rain when the first brace cast off on Friday morning, April 6. The rain continued intermittently until the conclusion on Saturday afternoon. The heavy downpours forecast occurred at night and the conditions were mostly even throughout the running. No dog or handler was at a serious disadvantage on account of the weather. Despite the rain every brace had bird contacts and the winners scored multiple finds.

This year’s champion, three-year-old white and orange pointer male Lostak’s Flynn Rider, is owned by Jeff Lostak of Vacaville, Cal. Jeff could not be present to handle his dog due to a personal commitment. At the last minute he made what he now knows was a great decision to enter the dog and let his friend and training partner Ron Shuman handle.

Flynn was in the first brace Saturday morning. Throughout the hour Flynn was consistently to the front and required no scouting as he traveled from the breakaway up the creek and then through the gate separating the pastures, touring the oak studded bowl. He had four evenly spaced finds and maintained intensity and style throughout the flushing process.

Runner-up Touch’s California Dream, two-year-old white and orange pointer male, is owned and handled by Tom Griffin of Watsonville, Cal. He had three finds and covered the ground with a flowing gait and attractive tail carriage. This young pointer is easy to watch on the ground and on point.

Other noteworthy performances were turned in by Terry Erickson’s Horizon’s Jetsetter, and Nite White Jay, Jim and Linda Camarillo’s pointer under Sheldon Twer’s whistle.

The judicial team of Mike Wilkin and Roy Smith were unfazed by the conditions and paid close attention to the dogs and handlers. Mike, from Reno, Nev., is well known and has judged and run his own dogs in Region 11 and the Pacific Northwest for many years. Roy Smith is a professional trainer with kennels in Lakeport and Oroville, Cal. Roy competes on the AKC circuit and his resumé includes national championship wins in several breeds. Their decision, announced as the sun came out on Saturday afternoon, was well received.

The club was blessed when Jim and Linda Camarillo agreed to bring their Polaris, trailer, and dog boxes and handle all the dog truck duties. Jim was here early on Thursday helping to clean up the barn that serves as the trial’s headquarters. With Linda at the wheel, the dogs were where they needed to be  and when. Their help and great spirits are hugely appreciated.

A well-deserved thank you to Jamie Griffin who showed up in the rain on Saturday and did a heck of a job preparing Saturday’s dinner, barbequed tri-tip, homemade potato salad and a garden fresh salad which was enjoyed by all.

Hornitos, Cal., April 6

Judges: Roy Smith and Mike Wilkin

WEST COAST OPEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP

[One-Hour Heats] — 4 Pointers and 12 Setters

Winner—LOSTAK’S FLYNN RIDER, 1658029, pointer male, by Lostak’s K Nine Jedi—Cache Creek Red Zone. Jeff Lostak, owner; Ron Shuman, handler.

Runner-Up—TOUCH’S CALIFORNIA DREAM, 1669606, pointer male, by Touch’s Smooth Rider—Touch’s Silver Scar. Tom Griffin, owner and handler.

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